Response to Hall Closure

St Anselm Hall Association

Next Meeting

Our second EGM is Monday 21st September at 7.30pm.

All members have been email an invitation if you did not receive it please contact the Secretary.

Background

On 30th August the St Anselm Hall Alumni Association learned the very sad news that the University of Manchester has taken the decision to close St Anselm Hall for the 2020-21 academic year. 

We were aware that this was a possibility because of the reduced demand for student accommodation due to the ongoing coronavirus situation. However, because of the Government’s mishandling of A level results a few weeks ago, the University of Manchester – like many other top universities – found itself with a lot more students who met the conditions of their offer.  

On 24th August an email was sent to residents explaining that the dining room in Slems would be open, but students would not be able to have formal dinners. Work was underway to maintain other vital aspects of hall life including the Library, Chapel and Bar with a view to all being open in September.

International residents that are arriving early to quarantine in halls before the start of term were due to begin moving in the week commencing 7th September. It therefore came as a complete surprise to the pastoral staff of the hall when returning members of hall began reporting that they had been moved out of Slems.

Communication to the students and staff of the hall was either blunt or for the latter initially completely absent. Returning students recieved this message:

Email to Returning Students

Dear XXXXXXXX 

University ID Number: XXXXXXXX 

We recently sent you an offer of accommodation for St. Anselm Hall for the academic year 2020/2021 which you subsequently accepted.   

Unfortunately, it has become necessary for operational reasons, to change your allocation to another room. To view the details of your new room, please log into your e-Accommodation Account. 

Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience this may cause and we look forward to welcoming you to Manchester. 

Regards 

Paul Burns | Accommodation Office Manager | Directorate for the Student Experience l The Accommodation Office | The University of Manchester | Grove House | 316 Oxford Road | Manchester M13 9WJ | Tel. +44 (0) 161 275 2888 | http://www.accommodation.manchester.ac.uk/ 

Association Response: Our call to action and how you can help

The Association held an Emergency General Meeting of the Membership on Monday 7th September at 7.30pm.

A further meeting is planned for Monday 21st September at 7.30pm – an invitation will be sent to members via email a week in advance.

The survival of the Hall depends on you.

1. Please email or write now to one of the University officers named below

2. Please support the JCR by signing the JCR petition

3. Please share this request with Old Anselmians and others in your network who have had a positive experience of the Hall and ask them to email or write. 

Guidance on communications

If you feel you would like to share your feeling on this situation you could communicate your views as to the positive experience you had at Anselm Hall as a member of the JCR to the President, COO and/or Head of Alumni (details below).

We encourage all members to ask questions, and if those questions are not answered in the reply, to write back pointing that out and asking for a proper response. This is easy to do from our side, and keeps up the pressure on them to review the matter.

Spouses, parents and others who have been positively affected by the hall are also asked to write and email in support.

Please write from your own experience and mention roles held where appropriate:

Our Aims

1) We are seeking a reversal of the decision to close the hall and are campaigning to establish a guarantee that the hall will reopen for the 2021-22 academic year if not before.

2) We support the JCR in their call to be allocated traditional hall accommodation that allows them to maintain a social community in exile by being housed together.

3) We recognise that the people and the building fabric are both vital – the JCR should have access to the hall and it’s communal facilities to allow all returning Anselmians and those freshers who were to be part of the JCR for 2020-21 to maintain an outstanding student-led experience.

Given the speed with which the decision was made it could be reversed with immediate effect. Continuity is essential to the Hall and even a year’s closure will be disastrous for the student community.

Please note that the Association are concerned that language from the University (such as ‘it is our intention’) and the use of conditional statements do not represent a cast iron commitment to reopen the hall.

We are concerned that recent behaviours from the University to do recognise the great value of the hall to the overall student experience nor the mistakes made in the decisions leading to hall closure and associated communications with the JCR.

You can support the JCR and the Future of Slems by:

Renewing your membership

You can do this online – the JCR finances may be a pain point in the year ahead. If you would like to update your contact details, please email the Clerk including your full name and years in hall.

Joining our former JCR Presidents Campaign

If you are a former JCR President please contact the Secretary as you can help play a key role in our campaign.

Emailing Senior Officers of the University

Dame Nancy Rothwell – president@manchester.ac.uk
President and Vice Chancellor

Patrick Hackett – patrick.hackett-REGISTRAR@manchester.ac.uk
Chief Operating Officer

Kate White – kate.white@manchester.ac.uk
Director of Alumni Relations

Writing to Senior Officers of the University

For those writing, repeat the names of the President, Registrar, Director of Alumni Relations immediately above the address

The University of Manchester
Oxford Rd
Manchester
M13 9PL

Signing the JCR Petition

If you have not done so, please sign the petition created by current members of the JCR

Supporting the JCR via Social Media

More information

If you would like any further information or clarification regarding the Associations campaign to save Slems please contact us including your full name and years in hall and we will suitably connect you to the current committee members

We enjoy hearing from Old Anselmians, and we look forward to seeing you at one of the reunions in the near future.

Social Network

LinkedIn Group

Facebook Group

Twitter

Contact

The Clerk to the St. Anselm Hall Association,
St. Anselm Hall,
Kent Road East, Victoria Park,
Manchester, M14 5BX.

Email: clerk@slems.org.uk

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